Entering the company in 2000 after a 27-year career in banking, Kimishima was CEO of Nintendo in America from 2006 to 2013.
Since Iwata’s death in July the company has been headed by game designer Shigeru Miyamoto and Genyo Takeda, who spearheaded the Wii console project.
The 65-year-old Kimishima said in a statement that he would continue on the path laid down by Iwata, who headed the company for 13 years. “The basic direction and strategy won’t change,” Kimishima said. Takeda and Miyamoto will be in charge of software development, while “I control administration,” Kimishima said.
Nintendo struggled as consumers shifted from the console games that made the company an industry leader to games on their smartphones – a segment the company long ignored. But in its most recent quarter to June, the company reported a resurgence in sales, up to $729 million from $603 million. Operating income rose to $9.3 million compared with a $76 million loss in the first quarter of 2015.
In March Nintendo concluded a partnership deal with game developer and platform operator DeNA to develop a smartphone platform using Nintendo characters.
In May, Nintendo announced a partnership with Universal Parks and Resorts to use Nintendo characters in Universal’s attractions.